How to Make a Slim Jim Unlocking Tool

Updated February 21, 2017

Slim jims are one of the simplest and most helpful tools you can have in your car. Using this device is fairly easy. You slip the metal stick between the window and the frame of your car and slide it toward the keyhole. You should feel a bolt right above the keyhole. This bolt acts as the latch that locks the door. Hook onto the bolt with the slim jim and lift up to unlock the door. If you don't have a slim jim on hand, you can make one from a wire coat hanger.

Remove any paper or cardboard that is attached to the hanger.

Use a pair of needle-nose pliers to untwist the hanger.

Straighten the hanger as much as possible. Don't worry if you can't get all the curves out. You just need the hanger to be at least 3 feet long.

Bend the end of the hanger to create a small hook. The size of the hook should be big enough to wrap around your index finger. You are now ready to use your slim jim.


Unlock your car from the passenger side door. The driver's side will have more wiring that could be damaged by the slim jim.

Things You'll Need

  • Wire coat hanger
  • Needle-nose pliers
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About the Author

David Montoya is an attorney who graduated from the UCLA School of Law. He also holds a Master of Arts in American Indian studies. Montoya's writings often cover legal topics such as contract law, estate law, family law and business.